Distance Learning @ MVHS

Tips for Parents

As we embark on Distant Learning, we recognize it can present different opportunities and challenges for families and students. While our number one goal is to continue high-quality instruction, we recognize the challenges and obstacles our students and families may face in the upcoming weeks will be exciting yet apprehensive. To prepare for this new approach to learning, it is important that we help our students adjust to the new normal and begin to develop good learning habits. Here are a few tips to help students find success in this new environment:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Be there for your child as a parent
  3. Continue to maintain family norms and be supportive
  4. Know that you are doing the best you can
  5. Celebrate your accomplishments and progress!

For Students & Parents

MVHS students will meet with ALL teachers during the appropriate class period for synchronous instruction. There will also be opportunities for asynchronous instruction and questions outside of the assigned bell schedule time.

FCPS Distance Learning = Asynchronous Learning + Synchronous Learning

Asynchronous Learning

  • Students learn at different times throughout the week
  • Teachers provide materials (videos, assignments, activities, links, group work)
  • Feedback is provided to the student through collaborative tools and email
  • Communication is not live
  • Flexible and allows students to work at their own pace
  • Due dates and time frames are important

Examples: Pre-recorded video (YouTube), Narrated Slide Deck, Screencasts, EdPuzzle, Flipgrid Video, Pear Deck student paced lessons, Blog or Discussion boards, Collaborative documents, Flipgrid recordings, Podcasts, Video Creation

Synchronous Learning

  • Students learn at the same time, often at a scheduled class time
  • Requires students and teachers to be online at a specific time
  • Direct interaction between teachers and students
  • Allows for instant feedback and clarification
  • Checking in, Q & A, discussed and presentations occur at specific times in an online setting
  • Often requires more bandwidth

Examples: Video conferencing, Chat window, Telephone, Office Hours, Collaborative documents, Pear Deck teacher paced lessons

Student Expectations when using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

  • Log in with your first and last name
  • Show up on time for your synchronous learning classes and stay engaged
  • Practice good digital citizenship so that we can help each other maintain a safe and productive digital community
  • The rules and regulations found in the SR&R still apply to all of us
  • Be careful with your words - be kind, caring and helpful

Rolling Gradebook Message for Students and Parents

Given the uncertainty of schedules and virtual learning for all students during the 2020-21 school year, our school has decided teachers will use a rolling (cumulative) gradebook. A rolling gradebook allows for progress towards a final mark that captures the total picture of student grades, regardless of length of quarter or number of assignments in each quarter. Acknowledging that the coming school year begins on a later start date and will have both synchronous and asynchronous learning, it is important to utilize a gradebook type that provides maximum flexibility and ensures equitable grading practices to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all students.

With a rolling gradebook, grades for individual assignments from each quarter carry over and build upon the previous quarter; therefore, quarter grades are a snapshot of a student’s current progress in the course and demonstrate performance to that date, not just for that quarter. Final grades are determined from all assignments and assessments throughout the year, regardless of the quarter the work was completed.

A rolling gradebook is an approved gradebook type per Secondary Grading & Reporting Policy and numerous FCPS schools/teams/teachers already utilize a rolling gradebook. 

Benefits associated with using a rolling gradebook include:

  • Allows time for demonstrating mastery of content and opportunities for remediation, completing make-up work & retakes (following established school, department or collaborative team policies)
  • Helps students maintain positive mental health when setbacks occur
  • Reports long-term progress to students as the year progresses, not just short-term achievement in each quarter
  • Provides a more accurate reflection of the student grade at any given point in time
  • Reduces number of tests or large projects due at the same time over multiple classes (usually at end of quarter)
  • Negates imbalance of quantity of assessments within each quarter and timing challenges at certain times of year
  • Encourages content units to end naturally and not get rushed due to quarter breaks

To learn more details about a rolling gradebook to include how it will look in SIS Student/ParentVUE, please take time to review the following video. Teachers will communicate grading design and policies via the course syllabus.  Students/parents are encouraged to reach out directly to the teacher with additional questions.

Virtual Bell Schedule 2020-2021 School Year

In order to better support your individual learning, students are expected to do the following: 

  • Work independently on assigned material.
  • Email teachers or classmates for clarity, finish assignments, and check Blackboard and/or Google Classroom for announcements and instructions.
  • Teacher office hours will be available for students to ask questions, receive individual support and discuss content with the teachers. 

Tuesday through Friday students will meet online via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra with their teacher and classmates for class as listed on our regular Odd and Even Day schedules.

During the Major Time period (3rd period) classes will meet as normally scheduled. A rotating schedule will be implemented during the Major Time period at some point during the 1st quarter of the school year. The full rotating Major Time calendar for the 1st quarter is posted below.

Image of 1st Quarter Major Time Flex Schedule